Minus starting quarterback J.J. McCarthy
, absent for unspecified reasons, the nation's No. 1 team relied on its stellar defense and the strong legs of Allen, who rushed 14 times for 245 yards and five touchdowns as the Ascenders finished 8-0 under first-year coach Bobby Acosta.
They capped a brief, but impressive, season
that included notable wins over No. 7 Duncanville (Texas) and No. 15
(Miami). Other victories came over Edgewater (Orlando), Ravenwood
(Tennessee) and Venice (Florida). IMG Academy outscored its eight opponents 381-82.
"We've been through a lot of adversity just getting through the season," Acosta said. "But this senior group is a special one. They wanted this. This is the outcome. They really produced."
The Ascenders definitely missed the Michigan-bound McCarthy, one of the nation's top signal callers, failing three times to score in the red zone.
But a defense chock full of FBS prospects had more than enough to slow down the impressive, but mistake-prone, Saints (5-2), who were twice intercepted in the end zone, including one late in the fourth quarter by Markevious Brown
Allen, a shifty, fleet and strong 6-foot, 215-pounder, then punctuated the victory and likely national championship season with his second touchdown run of more than 50 yards in the fourth quarter, a 53-yarder in the final two minutes. Allen scored on other runs of 49, 3 and 2 yards. Quarterback Jack Woche
, filling in for McCarthy, added a one-yard TD sneak.
"I did this for my brothers," Allen told the ESPNU audience after.
Said Acosta of Allen: "I can't wait to work with him again next season."
TRU Prep Academy (5-2), a first-year program formed after University (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) had its season canceled due to COVID-19, gained a lot of yards between the 20s.
The Saints' only touchdown came late in the third quarter on an 11-yard pass from Nicholas Vattiato
to an impressive Brandon Inniss
, one of the top sophomores in the country. Defensive tackle Jeremy Acosta
also shined for TRU Prep with five tackles for loss against one of the nation's top offensive lines.